From left to right: Dr. Maricel Badilla, Ar. Steven Chua, Ar. Pam Pontillo, and Ar. Yannie Tee of Palafox Davao Team; Regina Rosa Tecson, former OIC of the Davao City Tourism Operations Office; Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte; Ar. Felino Palafox, Jr; Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, former chairperson of the Tourism and Beautification Committee; Ar. Mottie Santos, Ar. Joshua Jabile, Rene S. Paraba, and Charisse Luy of Palafox Davao Team

DAVAO CITY — Palafox Associates turned over the Tourism Master Plan of Davao City to Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte and the Davao City Tourism Operations Office (DCTOO) last 26 July 2022 at the Pinnacle Hotel and Suites, Davao City. This 14-month collaboration between the City Government of Davao, the Tourism Council of Davao City, Palafox Associates, and local stakeholders and barangays has resulted in a 25-year Tourism Master Plan for Davao City’s growing tourism industry.

 

After intensive situational analyses consisting of multi-sectoral appraisals of the City's tourism profile alongside in-depth workshops between department heads, local stakeholders, and barangay representatives, the plan includes a strategic tourism framework, new tourism circuits, priority development areas, and a new brand for Davao City’s tourism and marketing strategies.

 

From left to right: Tanya Rabat-Tan, Regional Director RXI, Department of Tourism; Susabel Reta, City Mayor's Office consultant; Ar. Felino Palafox, Jr.; Councilor Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, former chairperson of the Tourism and Beautification Committee; Atty. Francis Mark Layog; Regina Rosa Tecson, former OIC of the Davao City Tourism Operations Office; Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre, City Council Tourism Committee Chairperson; Steve Arquiza of the Davao City Chinatown Council; and Ar. Steven Chua of Palafox Davao Team

The tourism framework strategy has been selected from the best features of the three proposed frameworks, with a tourism support hub within the City's urban core toward different tourism clusters. These are based on the City’s districts through its extensive road network as tourism corridors.

 

Three new tourism circuits were developed from the framework, highlighting the City’s existing and potential tourism activities:

  1. Downtown Davao Tour with Chinatown, San Pedro, and Mintal — the future local government center and emerging urban area;
  2. Adventure Eco-Tourism with Catigan-Eden-Toril loop up to Malagos and Cadalian in Baguio District; and
  3. Mountain Tourism at Marilog, integrating community-based tourism destinations with farm and nature tourism.

 

Priority development areas are also proposed to maximize the tourism development potential of Davao’s tourism destinations. These include the Davao Waterfront at Sta. Ana and the Chinatown Food and Night Markets, creating a MICE hub while revitalizing the Magsaysay Park and enlivening Chinatown’s streets; the Eco-Tourism Adventure Park at Catigan-Eden-Toril that fuses leisure and adventure; and the Mountain Park at Marilog, which showcases the local culture and the emerging bamboo industry of the area. These sites are purely indicative but are based on situational studies and workshops from which the city government can draw up more detailed plans with specific locations in the future.

 

Based on extensive branding and marketing studies, Definitely Davao is chosen as the tourism brand, which complements Davao’s place brand Life is Here and fuses tourism brands such as Let’s Meet in Davao under an umbrella brand along with marketing tactics like Visit Davao activities.

 

Apart from activities and development proposals, the tourism master plan also presents recommendations for institutional mechanisms to implement the plan, with the Departmentalization and Organization Development of the new City Tourism Office as the highlight.

 

These multi-faceted recommendations consolidated from collaborative workshops with the local government, various stakeholders, and barangays through the Tourism Master Plan of Davao City will surely help strengthen Davao’s bustling tourism sector in the coming years.

From left to right: Tanya Rabat-Tan, Regional Director RXI, Department of Tourism; Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte; Ar. Felino Palafox, Jr.; and Julieta Catacutan,OIC of the City Tourism Operations Office

Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte and Ar. Felino Palafox, Jr. at the event